There are many plant based protein powders. Hemp, rice, pea, soy, etc. Are there any studies which compare the effectiveness of such powders in terms of muscle building? (For example hemp vs. rice powder)

  • I saw BBC program about protein shakes. There ware two claims there. First - if you train then 20-30% of proteins are delivered to trained muscles. Second - there is no influence on muscle grow. Today we have enough proteins in day-to-day diet, so that is more problem for your kidneys then any good. Jul 10, 2018 at 13:28
  • According to this meta analysis you can use up to 1.6g protein / kg body weight. As I'm rather heavy and train every day but only very seldom eat meat I need additional protein sources. At the moment I use whey protein but I want to switch to a purely plant based solution. bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2017/08/08/bjsports-2017-097608 Jul 10, 2018 at 21:01
  • Please do my favorite exercise. First prove that men are more intelligent than women. In terms of IQ, and use only results from top US universities. Then do opposite - so prove that women are more more intelligent then men. Or in other words - please, go visit doctor. For instance - weight is not key factor here, but weight of muscles. Jul 10, 2018 at 22:18
  • @MichałZaborowski Maybe I did not express it correctly. According to BMI I'm overweight, 190, 95kg. However I'm pretty muscular and aware that BMI does not adjust for muscle mass. I train daily not to loose weight but to build muscle and stay fit. I found that when I don't get enough protein, less then 1g protein / kg bodyweight my muscles take longer to recover. And I don't want to eat meat because good meat is very expensive and I don't want to eat poor quality meat. I also don't like cheese and do not have the time to cook kidney beans / lentils on a daily basis. Jul 11, 2018 at 11:36
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    Why are people flagging this as "too broad" or "opinion based" when the question is rather specific in its request for studies and results about a finite topic?
    – Eric
    Jul 16, 2018 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


I would recommend this article from Barbell Medicine, so you can decide for yourself while shopping for supplements. It is written by MD/coach/powerlifter and based on science and available data.

Some quotes:

You'll need to eat more plant-based protein (if for regular diets people recommend 1g/1lb of body weight, you might need 1.5g/1lb)

As the quality of protein increases (based on bioavailability, protein digestibility amino acid corrected score, and amino acid profile) the total protein needed to optimize protein intake goes down. Similarly, the more vegan someone is, the more protein they require, i.e. the more calories from protein they require to get the same effect as their meat-eating, bone crushing, bacon frying counterparts.

You should look at leucine as primary amino acid, but there are caveats in terms of calories and quality of source (whey, meat, veggies)

Optimal protein intake per meal will be the amount of protein that yields ~3-4g of leucine, a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA). 3-4g of leucine per meal has been shown to maximize muscle protein synthesis.

In general, you should get most of your protein from non-supplements, i.e. from normal meals. (That's why they are called supplements). Think about why you want to take powder, what is missing in your body. Then start something that seems reasonable (product X, 1 scoop/day or whatever) and start tracking your progress. If you want to avoid gaining excessive amount of fat, waist circumference is a good indicator to track. If things going your way (lifts going up, biceps getting bigger, waist stays the same, whatever) continue as long as it works. And this article is good point of reference, I think.

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